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Court extends ban on political advertisements

Monday 5 July 2004

New Delhi, July 5. (PTI): The Supreme Court today directed continuance of its interim order banning surrogate political advertisements on TV channels and electronic media with the Election Commission expressing apprehension of war of words between political parties in view of coming Maharashtra polls.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti, Justice G P Mathur and Justice A K Mathur extended its April 13 interim directions till further orders and transferred to the apex court a petition filed by Gemini TV in Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had allowed surrogate advertisements.

When the Court was considering the matter, counsel for Election Commission submitted before the Bench that the interim order needed to be continued as the Assembly elections to Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh were due in October this year while the same for the States of Bihar and Jharkhand were due in February next year.

The Court on April 13 had ordered that no political advertisements will be telecast without prior clearance of the Election Commission.

To end "offensive and slanderous" political and surrogate advertisements during elections, the court framed comprehensive guidelines under which no advertisement could be inserted by any political party, candidate or person without prior clearance from the Commission or the Chief Electoral Officers in the States.

P.S.

in The Hindu, Monday, July 05, 2004.

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